Weekly Wool Prices

Week Ending August 31 (Week 09)

3 September 2012

The AWEX Northern and Southern Regional Indicators finished 0.9% lower, on average, at sales in Newcastle and Melbourne this week, when the US exchange rate fell by 1.7%. This was the first Newcastle sale of the season.

The Wester Regional Indicator was down by 4.3% since the last sale in Fremantle two weeks ago. This difference was partly due to the shift in the market over the last two weeks. But, it also appears to include a correction from two weeks ago when the WMI outperformed the EMI.

Sales opened in Newcastle on Tuesday on a good note. There was a good offering; and good demand led to small increases in the AWEX MPGs at the find end and a 2¢ lift in the Northern Indicator. Sales finished on an unchanged basis in Newcastle on Wednesday, whereas it was mixed day in Melbourne where the 18.5 and finer wools eased. All MPGs came off sharply in the West after the break in sales. Thursday’s sale saw demand and prices ease over all Merino types and micron ranges.

16.5 and 17 micron average MPGs and crossbred MPGs were up at the end of the week, with other Merino average MPGs down (mostly by 1 to 2%). Trade reports also indicate that there was good demand for wools below 16 microns in Newcastle. The highest price reported in Newcastle was 2,300¢ greasy for a 14.1 micron lot sold on Wednesday.

The EMI, is 336¢ less than in the same week last year; and the WMI, is 318¢ below the corresponding sale last year.

The poorer global economic mood this week would have placed pressure on demand for all commodities.

In other countries, the Cape Wools Indicator was up by 1.2% since the last sale two weeks ago. In New Zealand, the Wool Services International crossbred fleece Indicators were up by around 3% since the previous sale two weeks ago.

Among other fibres, December Futures for cotton rose by a further 2.7% during the week, closing at 77.26 US¢ on Friday.

Centre Last Sale Day-to-Day Changes (Week 09) Sale-to-Sale Change Closing Indicator Sale-to-Sale Changes
Week Indicator Tuesday Wednesday Thursday US ¢ Euro ¢
Eastern 08941+1+1-9-7 (-0.7%)934-25-20
Northern 08955+20-12-10 (-1.0%)945-27-23
Southern 08931No Sale+2-7-5 (-0.5%)926-22-18
Western 07974No Sale-29-13-42 (-4.3%)932-61-49

38,508 bales were on offer, compared with 34,190 bales last week (when only Sydney and Melbourne sold). 12.1% were passed in, comprised of 8.0% in Newcastle, 11.1% in Melbourne and 20.0% in Fremantle. Pass-in rates for Merino fleece and skirtings were 15.5% and 5.6%, respectively. 33,850 bales were cleared to the trade.

The year-to-date offering is 39,108 bales less (-13.8%) than at the end of the same week last year. Current estimates for the next three sales suggest that this figure will move to around -11% over the three week period.

The latest Australian wool production forecast was released last Friday. The forecast for 2012/13 is 345 mkg, 3mkg up from 2011/12.

The factors driving Australian exchange rates over the last week appear to have reverted to the pattern seen following the onset of the Global Financial Crisis in 2008. That is, the release of information that has a negative effect on global economic confidence invariably results in a fall in exchange rates. In this case, it was the news from Greece last Thursday that they want to renegotiate their loan repayment schedule. The US exchange rate fell by 1.32¢ over Friday and Monday.

Financial analysts have attributed the ongoing falls in exchanges rates to a softer economy in China and doubts now about the prospects of another “quantitative easing” (printing money) in the United States.

Exchange Rates
(Reserve Bank)
Last Sale Day-to-Day Changes Sale-to-Sale
Closing Value Season Min & Max
Fri MonTues Wed Thur Min Max
United States 105.16-0.78-0.54-0.10-0.01-0.36-1.79 (-1.7%)103.37101.70105.93
Euro 83.90-0.81-0.040.00-0.45-0.25-1.55 (-1.8%)82.3581.9185.63


Sale-to-Sale Changes in Average AWEX Merino Micron Price Guides (MPGs)
Micron 16.5 17.0 17.5 18.0 18.5 19.0 19.5 20.0 21.0 22.0 23.0 24.0
Since Last Sale:
Change ¢ +4+8-2-24-27-18-17-17-22-14-30-1
Change % +0.3%+0.6%-0.2%-2.0%-2.4%-1.6%-1.6%-1.6%-2.0%-1.3%-2.9%-0.1%
Since Start of the Season:
Change ¢ -234-151-149-155-176-168-159-152-160-176-202-162
Change % -14.7%-10.6%-10.8%-11.7%-13.6%-13.3%-13.0%-12.5%-13.2%-14.5%-16.8%-14.2%
Since Same Week Last Year:
Change ¢  -974-804-662-521-465-402-318-281-228-159-46
Change %  -43.2%-39.5%-36.2%-31.8%-29.9%-27.3%-23.1%-21.0%-18.0%-13.7%-4.5%

Skirtings generally had quite a good week, that was reflected in a low pass-in rate of 5.6%. It was well below the 15.5% pass-in rate for fleece wools. It was another good week for crossbred wools, with rises in all theiraverage AWEX MPGs. They have generally done better than Merino wools since the start of the season. It was a good week for the oddments also.

Sale-to-Sale Changes in Other Average AWEX Price Guides
Micron 25.0 26.0 28.0 30.0 32.0 MC#
Since Last Sale:
Change ¢  +24+3+12+4+11
Change %  +3.0%+0.5%+2.3%+0.9%+2.1%
Since Start of the Season:
Change ¢ -136-104-76-50-54-56
Change % -13.0%-11.2%-12.0%-8.5%-10.9%-9.3%
Since Same Week Last Year:
Change ¢ +27-2-131-95-140-172
Change % +3.0%-0.2%-19.1%-15.1%-24.1%-24.0%

# Average Merino Cardings Price Guide

Buyers for China were dominant this week, followed by strong support from buyers for Italy (in Newcastle) and India.

Highlights from the Australian Bureau of Statistics export data for June, and for the July to June period for the top five export destinations and three other key destinations follow.

Country % Share of Australia’s Wool Exports by Weight of Wool Shipped Year-on-Year % Change in Wool Exports
May 2012 July - May This Season July - May Last Season
China 76.1%75.8%74.4%-8.4%
India 10.1%6.9%7.7%-18.8%
Italy 1.9%4.7%5.1%-17.3%
Czech Republic 3.1%4.0%4.1%-12.9%
Taiwan 1.5%2.2%2.5%-20.5%
Korea 1.2%1.4%1.2%7.5%
Malaysia 1.1%1.0%0.7%20.2%
Thailand # 0.0%0.2%1.0%-82.9%
# Affected by Bangkok floods in October 2011 Change all Countries -10.1%

Sales will be held in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle next week, when 40,509 bales are currently rostered for sale. Present estimates for the following two sales (Weeks 11 and 12) are 37,270 and 47,200 bales, respectively; a decrease of 3.6% over the three sale period when compared with last year.

The New Zealand Merino Company is rostered to offer 500 bales in Melbourne next week and 1,000 bales in Week 12.

In South African sales, the Cape Wools Indicator was up by 1.2% since last sale against a 2.7% depreciation of the Rand against the US Dollar and a 4.7% depreciation against the Euro. 7,694 bales were on offer.